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College Football's 10 Hardest Schedules In 2018

A UCLA Bruins fan holds up a noise sign during a 38-14 win over the USC Trojans at the Rose Bowl.

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 22: A UCLA Bruins fan holds up a noise sign during a 38-14 win over the USC Trojans at the Rose Bowl on November 22, 2014 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The 10 toughest schedules in college football in 2018.

College football schedules are becoming much more scrutinized in the College Football Playoff era. Do you schedule easy to give yourself the best chance to go undefeated? Or do you schedule tough to give yourself opportunities to impress the committee?

It was a major issue this past season. A couple of teams benefited or fell victim to their schedules.

Ohio State, for example, probably missed the College Football Playoff due to its game against Oklahoma. The Buckeyes were blown out by the Sooners and ended up missing out on the playoff. If OSU had scheduled an easy opponent in OU's place, Urban Meyer's team probably would've been a 12-1, Big Ten champion - a lock for the playoff.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, benefited from its easy schedule. The Badgers went undefeated in the regular season and were a win over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game away from a playoff spot.

Easy schedules aren't always the way to go, though. Two seasons ago, Ohio State played at Oklahoma. The Buckeyes won decisively. It was probably that win that put OSU in the playoff over a couple of other teams.

This leads us to looking ahead to the 2018 season. One analyst has already started ranking the toughest schedules for the upcoming season.

Here are the 10 toughest. The rankings come from analyst Matt Smith.

1. Michigan

Michigan 2018 football schedule

2. Nebraska

Nebraska 2018 football schedule

3. Rutgers

Rutgers 2018 football schedule

4. Notre Dame

Notre Dame 2018 football schedule

5. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh 2018 football schedule

6. Texas A&M

Texas A&M 2018 football schedule

7. Indiana

Indiana 2018 football schedule

8. Northwestern

northwestern 2018 football schedule

9. LSU

lsu 2018 football schedule

10. Maryland

maryland 2018 football schedule

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You can read his full rankings here.